Tag Archives: veggies

Simple Braised Root Veggies

Simple Braised Root Veggies | stupideasypaleo.com

Simple braised root veggies are so easy to make, and they’re an inexpensive way to round out a meal. The leftovers keep well and find their way into my breakfast scrambles or even my post-workout snack. This dish is hearty and warming in the winter, a perfect way to take advantage of all the root veggies lying around as we really hit the cold months. And, this recipe is Whole30-friendly.

If you want to customize this, look at the bottom of the post for suggestions to change it up, but once you dial in the technique, the sky’s the limit. You’ll be braising the veggies, which basically means to develop a bit of brown, caramelly goodness when it first hits the pan, add liquid and simmer until tender, then raise the heat back up to cook off most of the liquid and concentration the flavors. No Dutch oven or similar cooking vessel? I’ve done this in a large frying pan with a lid, and it works just fine. One tip: don’t season with salt until the end if your broth is salted because will concentrate during cooking.

Ingredients for Simple Braised Root Veggies:

  • 1–2 Tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1 small celery root (celeriac) or 1 small rutabaga, peeled
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions for Simple Braised Root Veggies:

  1. If desired, peel the carrots and parsnips. Cut in half lengthwise and then into ~1/4″ thick pieces. Peel the celery root and cut into similar-sized pieces to the carrot and parsnip. If you make the pieces too thin, you’ll end up with a pot of mush.
  2. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, like a Dutch oven, heat the ghee or coconut oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the carrots, parsnips, celery root and onion. Allow the veggies to caramelize and slightly brown, though not burn. Stir enough so you get good color on many of the pieces.
  3. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage and chicken broth. Allow the liquid to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot. Allow the veggies to cook until just fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Uncover the pot. Turn the heat to high and allow the braising liquid to reduce down until it’s a slightly thickened sauce. Don’t let it go too long or walk away because this can very quickly start to burn the bottom of the veggies.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Change It Up:

  • No Dutch oven? You can accomplish the same result in a large frying pan with a tightly fitting lid.
  • No fresh herbs? Instead of 1 Tablespoon fresh herbs, use 1 teaspoon dried. Rub the herbs between your fingers before adding to the pot to unleash more flavor.
  • Use whatever root veggies you have in any combination you’d like.
  • Double the batch and use leftovers for morning hash.

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What’s your favorite root vegetable?

Paleo Zucchini Fritters

Paleo Zucchini Fritters - The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.com

These Paleo Zucchini Fritters are one of my most favorite veggie side dishes I’ve cooked up lately. The recipe’s one I adapted from Smitten Kitchen, a really cool—though not necessarily Paleo_blog. If you have a food processor with a shredding blade, this recipe becomes even faster to make but have no fear: I broke out my trusty box grater to do the job, and it worked like a charm.

I’m extra excited about these Paleo Zucchini Fritters because it’s one of the brand new recipes in my new ebook, The Paleo Athlete!

Ingredients for Paleo Zucchini Fritters:

 Directions for Paleo Zucchini Fritters:

  1. Shred the zucchini using a box grater or a food processor fitted with a shredding blade. Put the shredded zucchini in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and toss well. Walk away for 10 minutes.Paleo Zucchini Fritters - The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.com
  2. Now it’s time to squeeze all the moisture out of the zucchini (nobody likes soggy fritters). Note: if you’re really salt sensitive, you may want to rinse the zucchini with water, then squeeze it out. Scoop up a generous handful of the zucchini and squeeze the living daylights out of them into a sink or bowl. You want them dry. Place in a different bowl.Paleo Zucchini Fritters - The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.com
  3. Add the coconut flour, egg and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Melt a large spoonful of ghee or coconut oil in the pan. Pack a 1/4 cup measuring cup with the zucchini mixture, pressing it down inside the cup. Turn the cup out onto the pan and flatten the zucchini until you get a patty. You can also use a disher or just eyeball it. I fit about 4 – 5 in a large skillet at one time.
  5. Cook each side for 3 – 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Repeat until you‘ve used up all the zucchini mixture. Be sure to add more ghee or coconut oil to the pan each time you start a new batch.
  6. Cool on a cooling rack so they don’t get soggy.

Paleo Zucchini Fritters - The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.com

Change it Up:

  • Add garlic powder or onion powder to the mix.
  • Sprinkle with freshly chopped chives or parsley.
  • Serve with a homemade dipping sauce like Lemony Chive Paleo Mayo.

Have you ever made zucchini fritters? What’d you think?

Paleo Zucchini Fritters - The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.com

Creamy Leek Soup (Dairy-Free)

The autumn months are here. Longer nights. Colder days.

DSC_0096  It’s getting to be soup weather (though I love soup all year long).

This creamy, really simple dish is modeled after vichyssoise, a silky soup made with potatoes and cream or milk. My friend Claudette made me her Paleo version this summer, and I was shocked to find out that instead of potato it contained….

…cauliflower.

When I served this to my unsuspecting taste testers and asked them what was in it, they could not guess cauliflower. Haha…fooled ‘em! A traditional vichyssoise is served cold, and while you could do that, I liked it better warm.

And for an extra added special factor, I sprinkled mine with some Bacon Gremolata or just crispy bacon, crumbled up. You’re welcome :)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of leeks, dark green ends removed, roughly chopped (~2 large leeks)
  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower, chopped (4-5 cups)
  • 1 cup onion (~1 medium)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1-2 Tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

  • Wash the leeks well. I usually cut off the root end then slice it down the middle lengthwise. Hold under running water and separate the leaves, rinsing well (especially the outermost leaves). Sandy soup is not delicious. I usually cut off the top 1/3 of the leek and save that for making stock. Chop the leeks roughly. Add to a large soup pot.
leeks

Cut the tough, dark green leaves off (save for stockAdd to a large soup pot.

  • Cut the core out of the cauliflower and trim off any leaves. Roughly chop it. Add that to the pot.
  • Add the onions, chicken broth, coconut milk and ghee to the pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the veggies are tender.
  • Allow to cool, then puree until smooth using a blender (be careful…you may need to do two or more batches so the blender doesn’t overflow).
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

p.s. You can make this in the crock pot. Add all the ingredients and cook on low for 3-5 hours. The flavor is the same but the consistency won’t be as thick. To troubleshoot that, you can remove the crock pot lid for the last hour of cooking so some of the liquids evaporate.

Do you think you might try this recipe? What toppings would you use?

Crock Pot Chicken Yellow Curry Soup

DSC_0012 Last week on Facebook, I asked which you – fantastic fan – would like more recipes for: veggies, meat or crock pot, and the slow cooker was the winning vote by far. Here’s my guess on why: crock pots do everything for you…except clean up. Yup. It’s true. Put it in and walk away…it’s like the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie Oven for the busy Paleo eater (I know you remember those “Set it and forget it!” Saturday morning infomercials).

I took one of my most adored recipes from my Crock Pot Recipe Guide and gave it a slight makeover. What resulted was a warm, filling, and savory curry that’s not at all spicy hot. Best part, it’s free from the weird ingredients found in most premixed curry pastes. and you don’t have to worry about that lonesome jar of rarely used curry powder getting stale because you’ve made it fresh. Makes about four servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb. (~700 g) boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into chunks
  • 6 cups of veggies, chopped (I used one cup each of onion, carrots, green beans, broccoli, tomatoes and red bell pepper. Use what you like or have on hand.)
  • 1-14 oz can (~400 ml) of full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 cup water (for a thicker, curry-like sauce, omit the water)
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut the chicken and veggie into medium-large chunks. Put everything into the crock pot.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk, and crushed tomatoes. Then add the spices: cumin, ground coriander, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Add the water. Stir to combine everything.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. [I cooked mine for 8 hours overnight since my current crock pot does not have an automatic shut off function, though, at it came out perfect nonetheless.] 
  4. If the you want it more like a curry and less like a soup, omit the 1 cup of water above. You can also remove the lid from the crock pot for the last hour of cooking so some of the moisture evaporates.
  5. Season to taste with salt.
  6. Serve. Would be great over cauliflower rice, but it’s tasty on its own, too.

Simple Garlicky Greens

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This is by far my favorite way to use kale or any other greens because it imparts just a bit more flavor. You can use any dark leafy green and the particularly tough ones like kale, collards, broccoli rabe, dandelion greens, etc work really well. You can do this with spinach as well, but cut down the cooking time so it doesn’t turn to mush.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (I like Kasandrinos)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 very large bunch of greens, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chicken broth or water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Add the oil to a large, cold skillet. Add the sliced garlic and cook on low for about 4-6 minutes or just until it starts to brown on the edges. Don’t let it burn though…because burnt garlic isn’t tasty!
  2. Add the chopped greens and chicken broth (or water) and turn up the heat to medium. Stir and cook for anywhere from 4-6 minutes, depending on how tough the greens are. You want them to be tender but not mushy. Greens like collards will take longer because they’re very thick.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic Ginger Brussels Sprouts

DSC_0720 2 More veggies, please!

This is a pretty simple side dish that compliments virtually any main. To save cooking time, I sliced the Brussels sprouts thinly, but if you’re crunched you could either buy them pre-sliced (I’ve seen them at Trader Joe’s) or halve and steam them, then throw them in the pan. I don’t recommend putting them in whole because they’ll take forever to cook. Adding a splash of coconut aminos at the end of cooking is a nice compliment, but if you don’t have it, salt will do just fine. Just taste before adding depending on how salty the bacon is.

Ingredients: 

  • 4 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. (500 g) Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, cut into ribbons with a veggie peeler
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DSC_0732 Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, render the bacon until it’s crispy.
  2. Add the thinly sliced Brussels sprouts and carrots. Cook on medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes or until the sprouts have begun to brown.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger in the last 1-2 minutes of cooking and stir to combine (adding the garlic at the end reduces the chance it’ll burn and taste bitter).
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Red pepper flakes are also good instead of black pepper.

Easy Breakfast Salad

DSC_0776 I’ve taken a liking to making what I call breakfast salad. It’s usually a mash up of different mildly flavored veggies or leftover fruit that’s in my fridge, and the exact ingredients are always different. Sneaking in more veggies is something I’m always trying to do, and this cold salad served in the morning is a good way to do that. You could easily prep this the night before to save time in the a.m. Easily doubles for two servings.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  0 min     Makes: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 an orange, segmented or cut into supremes
  • 1/2 a black plum, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of jicama, cubed
  • 1/2 an avocado, chopped
  • 1Tablespoon of chopped mint or parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DSC_0765 Directions:

  1. Combine all the veggies, fruit and herbs in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice on top.
  3. Gently stir to combine all the flavors. If you’re preparing other breakfast items like eggs, make the salad first so it has time to sit and let the flavors marry a bit.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ratatouille a la Claudette

DSC_0791 This rainbow on a plate was inspired by a ratatouille made by my amazing friend Claudette, the owner of Cavegirl Confections (her granola and nut butters are HIGH quality and made with love…and she ships). We got together for dinner last week – with scallops, crab cakes, pork belly and lamb kofta with lemony herb sauce – and she made this as a side dish. It’s light and colorful and perfect for summer. Claudette’s not a big eggplant fan, so she left it out, but you could certainly add it if you’d like.

Like the creative genius that she is, she slices the peppers and tomato thin and uses a regular ol’ peeler to make the squash, zucchini and carrots into wide noodles.

Prep time: 10 min     Cook time:  8-10 min     Makes: 2-3 side-dish servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow summer squash
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 bell pepper, any color
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Large spoonful of ghee (I like Omghee) or your fat of choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Use a regular vegetable peeler to peel the carrots, zucchini and yellow squash into long slices. Seed and thinly slice the tomato and bell pepper. Roughly chop the basil and parsley.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the ghee. Sauté the veggies (save the herbs for later) until they’re tender but not mushy, about 6-8 minutes. Turn off the heat, sprinkle in the herbs and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  3. Easy peasy!

Cold Zucchini Noodle Salad with Tomato and Olives

DSC_0717 Zucchini noodles are rad. I made this simple cold salad by tossing them with a drizzle of olive oil and white balsamic, then serving them with tomato and olives. With warmer weather upon us, this would be a great side dish for a BBQ or picnic lunch. If you want to be fancy, you could chop up the olives and tomato or add canned artichokes or even a few leaves of fresh basil.

Prep time: 30 min     Cook time: 0 min    Makes: ~5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • ~2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (I like Kasandrinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole or chopped
  • 1 cup pitted black olives (I like kalamata), whole or chopped

Directions:

  1. Peel zucchini with a julienne peeler (like this one), sprinkle evenly with salt (I mix it by hand to make sure it’s evenly distributed), and place in a colander to drain for about 20 min. The salt pulls moisture out of the zucchini, making a more tender noodle. Put the colander in the sink because it’ll leak all over the countertop if you don’t.
  2. Rinse thoroughly with water to wash away the excess salt and squeeze to remove the extra moisture.
  3. Drizzle the noodles with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Toss to combine.
  4. Add the tomato and olives. Stir in or leave on top…it’s up to you!
  5. Voila.

 

Braised Mustard Greens with Bacon

IMG_4047

I try to eat as many greens as I can, and this is gives a nice smoky flavor to the mustard greens which can have little taste on their own.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 15 min    Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of mustard greens
  • 4 slices of bacon (sugar free bacon if on Whole30)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash and roughly chop the mustard greens.
  2. Chop the bacon.
  3. Heat the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat to render out the fat. Once the bacon is crisp, add the mustard greens in batches, stirring until it’s wilted enough to add more. Continue until all the mustard greens are in the pan.
  4. Add the chicken stock and balsamic vinegar. Cook for 10 more minutes until the greens are tender.
  5. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Watermelon Mojito Salad

IMG_4131It’s rare that I drink these days…it’s pretty counterproductive to my training and makes me sleep like crap. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think about it sometimes – and occasionally it’s a bit longingly. The other day, I thought of one of my BFF Greg and our Thelma and Louise inspired road trip last summer (well, there wasn’t any Brad Pitt and clearly we didn’t die) but we sipped on lots of wine and sunbathed our way across Palm Springs, LA and Santa Barbara. It was pretty awesome. In any case, whenever I think of Greg, I also think of booze for some reason. Hi Greg! Love you! To make a long story short, I decided to make a mojito-esque – but clearly non-alcoholic – dish that would capture the flavors of this iconic Cuban drink. Plus watermelon. I love watermelon.

Prep time: 15 min     Cook time: 0 min    Makes: 5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1.5 cups seedless cucumber, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, sliced thin (“chiffonade” if we’re being fancy about it)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • Zest from two limes
  • 1 Tbsp Kasandrinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

Directions:

  1. Cut the rind off the watermelon and cut into medium-sized cubes (about 1/2-inch).
  2. Peel the cucumber – if you prefer – and cut into similar sized cubes.
  3. Slice the mint leaves thinly. To chiffonade, stack the leaves on top of each other. Roll them up lengthwise into a bundle, then thinly slice.
  4. Combine these ingredients in a large bowl.
  5. In a smaller bowl or a small jar, combine the lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir (or shake) well to combine. Pour over the watermelon and cucumber and stir well.
Note: I earn a small commission if you use the links in this post to purchase the products I’ve featured. I personally use and believe in the products I recommend.

Garlic Pistachio Broccoli Rabe

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Before we dive into this recipe, let’s learn a little bit about this misunderstood vegetable: broccoli rabe (pronounced like “rob”) isn’t actually broccoli at all! Rather, it’s closely related to mustard greens. It’s also commonly called rapini in Italian cuisine. So confusing, right? I saw broccoli rabe hiding among the other greens in the organic section of the market and couldn’t resist the urge to try something new. My curiosity was rewarded because it was damn tasty!

This unassuming veggie can be bitter but when blanched – boiled quickly and then plunged into icy cold water – the unappealing bitterness is removed. If you can’t find broccoli rabe, or if you’re just too chicken to try something new, you can substitute it with virtually any dark leafy green like swiss chard, mustard greens or spinach (no need to blanch those options).

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 10 min    Makes: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch (about 1 lb. / 500 g) of broccoli rabe (rapini)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped pistachio nuts
  • 2 Tbsp dried currants
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (or water)
  • Kasandrinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Boil a large pot of water. Set up a large bowl filled with ice water.
  2. While the water comes to a boil, trim the ends off the broccoli rabe and chop into wide strips, mince the garlic and chop the pistachios.
  3. Blanch the broccoli rabe in boiling water for 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to the ice water and allow to cool for a few minutes. Drain.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add a glug of olive oil. Saute the garlic, pistachios, currants and red pepper flakes for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the drained broccoli rabe and chicken stock, cooking for 3-4 more minutes or until the stems are tender. Adjust the seasoning with sea salt if necessary.

Celery Root Mash

photo-593Alright! Now before you click away because this has the word “celery” in it, just stay with me for a minute here. I know so many people who don’t like celery, but rest assured, this is something different. Celery root, also called celeriac, is the subterranean component of celery and looks like other bulbous root veggies such as turnip (swede). When roasted, it takes on a mildly sweet flavor. It’s also very tasty in braised dishes and stews, but tonight I decided to turn this one into a simple – but incredibly flavorful – mash based on a Jaimie Oliver recipe.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 20 min    Makes: ~3-4 cups

Ingredients: 

  • 1 celery root (celeriac)
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 2 tsp dried sage or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ~1/4 cup stock* or water
  • Coconut oil or fat of choice
  • 2 Tbsp coconut cream or coconut butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Peel and dice the celery root into equal-sized pieces. They don’t have to be perfect, but evenly-diced cubes will cook more evenly.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the celery root in a spoonful of coconut oil. Season with the sage (or thyme) and salt & pepper.
  3. Once the pieces are browned, add the garlic and stock (or water). Put a lid on the skillet and steam the celery root on medium-low heat until cooked through, about 15-20 more minutes. Check to make sure the veggies aren’t getting too dried out and add a bit more water if necessary.
  4. Add the coconut cream and mash the celery root to the desired consistency. I left mine a bit chunky. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
  5. *I used part of a gluten-free, Paleo-friendly bullion cube mixed with water.

Cabbage with Apple and Onion

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When I was in high school anatomy & physiology class, we learned about the classic taste-smell experiment where someone with his or her nose blocked cannot tell the difference between eating an apple and an onion [Your olfactory / smell and gustatory / taste senses are intimately linked, as it turns out, hence the reason that a good head cold usually means you can't taste much. Science is so cool!]. Anyhow, when I was cooking up this easy side dish, I couldn’t help but think of the apple-onion experiment and how tasty the two would be together. This one comes together in less than 10 minutes and is a good way to use up cabbage that’s sort of wilted or apples that have gotten a bit soft. It was the perfect accompaniment to some delicious pan-fried pork chops.

Prep time: 5 min     Cook time: 10 min    Makes: 2 side-dish servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a small head of cabbage
  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spoonful of your fat of choice

Directions:

  1. Slice the onion and apple into similar thickness pieces. Slice the cabbage into narrow ribbons.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a spoonful of your fat of choice.
  3. Sauté the onion and apple – sprinkled with salt – until the onions are translucent and the apple softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cabbage and sauté about 3 minutes more.
  5. Drizzle the veggies with balsamic vinegar and cook for another few minutes until the vinegar has reduced a bit and everything is cooked through.
  6. Season with caraway seeds, salt and pepper to taste.